Advent 18 - In Our Skin

DAY 18 - In Our Skin
Read John 1:14-18

Jesus was in the beginning. And then God in Christ moves toward us. “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (Jn 1:9, NIV). God has come to his people before. He met Moses through a fiery bush. He appeared to Abraham as a visiting traveler. But those were different. In all those situations, God filtered himself. Nobody met God raw and unfiltered.

This time, though, God’s doing something different. Totally unique. Totally unexpected. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14, NIV). Jesus wasn’t just “in the beginning.” Jesus is also God in our skin. The eternal Son of God, fully God, assumed everything that makes us human to become the man, Jesus of Nazareth. We call it “incarnation,” which means “put on flesh.” Jesus is God embodied. He’s one of us!

God in our skin is another sign of God’s love because love is present. God is WITH us. I get a lot of comfort knowing someone is with me when life is hard. Most of us don’t need pious platitudes like “God needed them more than we did” when someone dies. We need a shoulder to cry on, someone crying with us. Flowers are nice but that physical presence next to you is better. Being present matters. In fact, it’s proof of love. 

Jesus manifests God’s glory and love by being God in our skin. Some people have a hard time imagining God with us as one of us. Many American Founding Fathers saw God as a clockmaker; he winds up the universe and walks away to let us do our thing. Muslims think it’s impossible and below God’s dignity to become human. 

But Jesus proves that being WITH people, especially in times of need, is proof of love. That’s why Christians start new churches, to have gatherings where people live, speaking their cultural language. That’s why we encourage smaller community in groups. That’s why we challenge one another to serve people with our own hands beyond making donations to charity. Love up close beats love from a distance. God joins us as one of us. That’s proof God loves us.

When have you felt loved by someone being with you in a time of need? Who can you be “with” this week?

God of grace, your eternal Word took flesh among us when Mary placed her life at the service of your will. Prepare our hearts for his coming again; keep us steadfast in hope and faithful in service, that we may receive the coming of his kingdom, for the sake of Jesus Christ the ruler of all, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.
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